|(ARA) - As the holidays approach, it’s natural for us to feel both festive and frantic and increasingly stressed as our list of errands gets longer than Santa’s. To make sure that this season is about true holiday spirit and joyous time with family and friends, heed the sage advice of an entertaining expert who shares her simple secret . . . serve soup!
“Most soups are not complicated to make but they can have magical powers to help restore the soul, nurture and inspire the spirit and make a holiday party great fun for the host and guests” says Jana Kolpen, author and illustrator of the enchanting fable and cookbook, “The Secrets of Pistoulet,” and designer of the Pistoulet Dinnerware Collection for The Pfaltzgraff Co.
Kolpen is a passionate cook who loves to entertain at home. Her successful motto is, “keep it fresh, seasonal, colorful and simple.” Depending on the soup recipe, it can be served as first course, entrée or even a delicious snack. Regardless of its place at meal time, a simmering pot of soup warms guests’ hearts and keeps the cook out of the kitchen and part of the celebration.
“I’ve always loved to entertain friends and family, and I discovered the magic of soups while on a journey in France where the ritual and the spirit of making soup for others became a life transforming experience,” says Kolpen. She left New York City for a small farmhouse in southern France to give herself a fresh start after some devastating life experiences. Kolpen’s adventures led her to write and illustrate “The Secrets of Pistoulet” in which she includes several soup recipes that chronicle her inspirational journey such as the Potage of Spirit and the Potage of Passion.
According to Kolpen, holiday entertaining should be a multi-sensory experience that satisfies more than just your guests’ hunger. Kolpen collaborated with The Pfaltzgraff Co. to design a full collection of dinnerware and home accessories to complement her soup recipes and entertaining philosophy. Each piece in the Pistoulet Collection is hand painted with brightly colored flowers, vines and vegetables inspired by Kolpen’s illustrations in her book.
“I encourage mixing and matching dinnerware pieces to create whimsical and fun table settings. Place large soup crocks and tureens right on the dinner table and let guests serve themselves and participate in the full ritual of the holiday feast.” The Pistoulet Collection includes large, colorful soup tureens with ladles and a variety of soup bowls named after Kolpen’s favorite soup recipes such as the “Potage of Compassion” soup crocks and the “Potage of Spirit” soup bowls.
Kolpen recommends the “Potage of Spirit” soup as a good party starter. Using the freshest ingredients in the recipe she creates a hearty and healthful meal to nourish guests. The simple soup combines aromatic garlic, earthy potatoes and bright orange carrots (recipe included). But she does warn that “the spirit can express itself in many odd and wonderful ways. Be prepared for shocking behavior!”
The Potage of Spirit (makes 6 servings)
2 medium garlic bulbs (about 16 cloves)
4 14 ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 medium potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces.
3 carrots, peeled and chopped (1 ½ cups)
1/3 cup whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Snipped fresh chives to garnish (optional)
Combine broth, peeled garlic cloves, potatoes and carrots in saucepan, cover with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly, puree in blender or food processor until smooth. Return to saucepan to heat through adding whipping cream, salt and pepper and chives for garnish.
The chip-resistant, highly durable Pistoulet Collection is a great dinnerware choice for holiday entertaining. It is safe in the dishwasher, oven, freezer and microwave and features a broad range of dinnerware, serveware and accessories. The collection is available at major department and specialty stores nationwide, including J.C. Penny, Amazon.com and more than 70 Pfaltzgraff stores at outlet malls across the country.
For more recipes from “The Secrets of Pistoulet” log on to The Pfaltzgraff Co. Web site at www.pfz.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content
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